Being a professional pet blogger brings with it some very interesting lessons.
On a daily basis, I may find myself researching the origins and care needs of one or a handful of species. And I have to say, this research gets particularly intriguing when the species in question is regarded as both companion and cuisine.
For example, most of us have seen those diagrams of the cow that show the different cuts – ribeye, flank steak, T-bone, filet – I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 16 and yet even I can recite the most popular selections by heart!
When we are taught from a young age to see our fellow beings as a collection of parts, how much easier and more natural does it then become to see ourselves the same way? “A lot easier” is my personal guess.
As proof, I submit this story…
The other day I was minding my own business, climbing my own stairs up to my own little treehouse casa, when I casually reached out with my right (dominant) hand to steady myself on the handrail and felt….STING.
I had unwittingly smacked my palm down right onto the stinging backside of a very indignant red wasp.
Of course, my hand instantly began to swell up. As I ran for the ice cubes and Benadryl, I started panicking inside at the thought of all the pending writing projects piled up in my inbox.
In other words, I really needed that hand.
Over the next several days as I alternately worked, downed Benadryl, napped, and worked some more, I found myself wondering what precisely it was about that little sting that had so turned my world upside down. I mean, it was one tiny insect. It was one very small bump on one single part of one hand. It wasn’t like it was my whole body or anything.
Only it was.
And it seemed the more frustrated I got, and the more critically I talked to myself about “mind over matter” and “stop being such a baby” and “it’s only a sting, for goodness sake,” the more the sting site seemed to ache and itch and hurt and swell and interrupt my regularly scheduled daily life.
You can probably see where I’m going with this.
I was treating my body like a collection of parts – parts that had nothing to do with one another – parts that were disposable commodities – parts that I was clearly expecting to function perfectly well on their own without any help from all the other surrounding parts.
I was behaving like my hand was a filet, my arm was a T-bone and my leg was a ribeye.
Yet they aren’t. And I am not. When one part gets hurt or compromised, all the rest are affected. When my hand hurts, we all hurt. When any one part goes down for the count, it needs the support of all the other parts chipping in to help it heal and recover.
Taking this experience one step further, I can now look out over the panorama of my life and see how readily I treat each part of my body (and mind, and heart, and soul) this way. Without even thinking about it, I regularly and routinely take myself apart. Literally.
I think nothing of separating out my thighs from the rest of my legs, or my belly from the rest of my abdomen, or my thyroid from the rest of my endocrine system, singling some parts out for blame while the other parts get praise. I accept some parts and disown other parts. I approve of some parts and disapprove of other parts.
What a painful way to live.
Plus, it doesn’t work. Here, it doesn’t matter whether you are a barnyard cow or a homo sapiens. Either way, all those parts are connected. They are all needed, all valuable, all worthy, all welcome. Most importantly, all together they make something much greater that wouldn’t exist without each part playing….well….its part.
They make ME.
Which is why, now, I can say with certainty that I am finally ready to let all those parts come back together to be together as one.
Would you like to join me?
Today’s Takeaway: What parts of you have you separated out from all the rest? Do you find some parts of you – whether they are body parts, mind parts, heart parts or soul parts – get regular praise while others are routinely blamed or criticized? If this resonates, what do you think will help you start gathering all your parts in again and allowing them to regroup and become whole?
P.S. This post is from my free monthly e-zine, “Love & Feathers & Shells & Me.” Join us by subscribing! We’d love to have you! 🙂